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Alberta MPs fight back as Liberals tell Trudeau to nix mine

Alberta MPs launched a counter attack on Thursday after a report surfaced Liberal MPs have been pleading with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give the thumbs down to a new oil sands project.

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Alberta MPs launched a counter attack on Thursday after a report surfaced Liberal MPs have been pleading with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give the thumbs down to a new oil sands project.

The Teck Frontier mine in northern Alberta would create thousands of jobs and add hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the province’s economy.

But Liberal MPs who campaigned on a platform of climate change have been telling Trudeau to nix it. Reportedly, many of them did so at a Wednesday caucus meeting.

It has already been reported that before approving the mine the feds want Alberta to commit to becoming a net-zero emitter of carbon gas by 2050. That’s the same year Canada has pledge to do the same.

“If we are truly committed to net-zero by 2050 and to the science, and to the world, and to our future and tackling climate change, there is no explanation sitting here today as to how this project fits within that commitment. So should it proceed as it stands? I think it’s a pretty easy no,” ” Beaches–East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith told HuffPost Canada.

Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner lashed back on Twitter.

“Let me quote ⁦@ShannonStubbsMP⁩ – ‘a political rejection of this project by the Liberal cabinet will be perceived by most Albertans as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada,'” she tweeted.

“Would Trudeau deny Ontario or Quebec a multi billion dollar project that will create thousands of jobs?”

Teck itself issued a statement this week saying it also hoped it would become a net-zero emitter by 2050.

Michelle Rempel Garner

Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly voiced frustration the feds haven’t yet approved the $20.6-billion mine.

The project, a “truck and shovel” oil sands mine, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities,” according to a statement on the company’s website. It’s expected to produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day.

“Teck has also reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the broader Frontier project area.”

The federal government has said they would give an answer on the mine before the end of February.

Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson hinted last week approval would be based on how Alberta approaches climate change.

“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” Wilkinson said.

“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”

Wilkinson said all provinces, including Alberta, are expected to do their part to help Canada meet those commitments.

The UCP government unveiled their industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction system), in Bill 19, passed during the fall legislature session.

TIER replaced the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan by maintaining the price on pollution for large emitters but repealing the price on other businesses and residents. The federal price on carbon for Albertans, excepting large emitters, came into effect January 1, 2020.

Under TIER, facilities can either reduce their emissions or; use credits from other facilities, use emissions offsets from non-regulated organizations, or pay into the TIER fund at $30 per tonne.

The Alberta government launched its challenge of federal carbon pricing in 2019 and presented arguments Dec. 16-18 in Alberta’s Court of Appeal.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Yahoo! Albertans still choosing Western names for their young ‘uns

A quick review of baby names from 2019 in the province shows a lot of folks are still naming their children from cowboy culture.

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There may be no Stampede this year – but there will certainly be lots of Alberta children toddlin’ around with good ol’ fashion cowboy names.

A quick review of baby names from 2019 in the province shows a lot of folks are still naming their children from cowboy culture.

In fact, one Alberta family actually named their little boy “Cowboy”.

There was also “Clint”, presumably named after everyone’s favourite Western actor Eastwood.

There was “Wyatt”, maybe named after the infamous sheriff Earp.

There was “Colt” maybe named after a favourite horse or gun.

Albertans also named their little fellas Beau, Dirk, Hayes, Maverick and Stryder – all strong Western names.

Cowboy brands aside, as reported last month, the most popular boys name’s in Alberta last year was “Noah.”

With the globe battling pandemics and weather phenomena, it leaves you wondering if the new parents had some inside information.

Olivia continued to claim the top spot for baby girls.

Stampede 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Calgary police, fire statues desecrated

“I thought it was disgusting,” said Calgary police Supt. Ryan Jepson

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Vandals have desecrated statues to brave Calgary police officers and firefighters.

City crews were forced Friday to clear away red paint thrown on the statues sometime Thursday night or Friday morning.

The statues are in front of city hall.

“I thought it was disgusting,” Calgary police Supt. Ryan Jepson told Global on Friday.

Courtesy Global

“It’s as disgusting as it would be if a memorial site was desecrated anywhere. So, it’s unfortunate that it happened and I understand that it’s likely out of some frustration from some community members.

“That is not OK. It doesn’t solve anything.”

The Calgary Fire Department also condemned the targeting of the statues.

“The statue and the monument, they are there to represent what we do as emergency responders. Firefighters, we’re in service to Calgarians, to help them in their time of need,” spokeswoman Carol Henke told Global.

Police are investigating the incident.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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UCP launches independent probe into 2016 Grande Prairie hospital noose incident

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system,” said Health Care Minister Tyler Shandro

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The Alberta government has ordered an independent investigation after reports a noose was found hanging in a Grande Prairie hospital four years ago.

“In 2016, a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital. In August of 2019, I was first made aware of this incident and was reassured by senior officials that the matter was being dealt with appropriately, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a statement Friday morning.

“Recently, individuals with first-hand knowledge of the incident have raised this matter again, questioning how AHS handled this matter in 2016. I share their concerns and I am not satisfied that this matter was handled appropriately.

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system. That’s why I am announcing an independent third-party investigation of how this matter was handled by Alberta Health Services.

“It also appears that the investigation was limited by medical staff bylaws that govern how AHS responds to complaints and disciplines staff. These bylaws have not been updated in more than a decade. Consequently, I have issued a directive requiring AHS to revise their bylaws within 60 days.

“Finally, I will be introducing legislation next week that will increase the number of public representatives on college councils, hearing tribunals and complaint review committees from 25 per cent to 50 per cent – which will increase the public’s oversight of health professions.

“These initial steps are only the beginning. The review, which will be made public, will undoubtedly bring further required changes to our attention. While it may be uncomfortable for some, Albertans demand and expect our health-care system to reject racism and intolerance. If our system failed, we will fix it.”

Former NDP health minister Sarah Hoffman said she was unaware of the incident.

“I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the violent, racist incident that occurred at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016. I want to be clear that I was not aware of this incident at the time. If I had been informed, I would have taken swift action and that doctor would have been fired immediately,” Hoffman said in a statement.

“My record on confronting racism is clear. In 2017, when two AHS employees used a racial slur against an Indigenous woman, we moved swiftly to dismiss them. 

“I am deeply concerned that Tyler Shandro, the current Health Minister, has known about this incident for nearly a year and he has not raised this publicly or acted. That’s not leadership. We must confront racism head on. We must be anti-racist.”


CBC reported, a white South African-born surgeon tied a noose and then taped it to the door of an operating room in the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

He told another doctor the noose was for a Black Nigerian-born surgical assistant, CBC said.

In a statement to CBC, the surgeon said: “Some years ago, as a foolish joke, I made what I considered to be a lasso and hung it in an operating room door. In no way was it intended to be a racist gesture.

“It was very quickly drawn to my attention by staff members that this was unacceptable I subsequently brought the matter to the attention of AHS and apologized both verbally and in writing to my colleagues.

“At the time, I did not appreciate the heinous symbolism behind the knot I created. I did undertake some self-study and I now have great insight into the symbolism here and I am terribly sorry and embarrassed about this incident.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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